Images and words inked into skin need not be serious, symbolic, or sentimental all the time. As tattoos styles have developed during the past two decades so has the use of humor to illustrate personality and enjoyment in body art.
The time honored stereotypes of rebellion, angst and otherness have been joined by irony, satire, sarcasm, and a great deal of fun, as viable means of skin expression.
Funny tattoos – once accidental and often cringeworthy – now cross over into all genres of the art form, and into popular culture as well. All it takes is a fun idea, the willingness not to take things too seriously, and the enjoyment found in poking fun at things while needles poke your skin.
Tattoos vary between individuals, a fact extending to humor in tattoo. A picture or quote could have one person in stitches, while another could be left horrified or confused. The range in reactions are partly why funny tattoos are a rapidly growing phenomenon.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to think, feel, and experience the emotions you pour into body art. Read on for 134 funny tattoo examples to make you laugh, chuckle, howl, or shake your head.
Funny Alien Tattoo Ideas
This is a cool small tattoo. The use of white ink support for the simple image works well to add highlights.
A nicely etched black line tattoo, love the humor of an alien rocking stereotypical culture elements of smart phone, funny glasses and self deprecating ironic ‘blonde’ tee.
This is a crude, yet funny tattoo of a cow being lifted into an alien space craft. There’s a lot of technical work needed to improve on the fun idea. The line work of tractor beams is messy and looks to have been drawn freehand. The cow too needs a touch up to clean up the black ink fill. The tattoo on the right of the featured piece is a bit scary – it’s old, faded, and could do with a complete refurbishment.
For men & women
This funky pair of religious aliens is a great bit of 3D new wave tattooing. Love the color palette and solid fill, especially on the alien’s interior and the flower petals. It’s the type of image atheists would find hilarious but draw harrumphs from those of faith.
This small rocks. It’s simple, ironic and well etched. The use of fine black line creates a simple image but one well suited to get the fun message across. The black zebra stripes of the turned down coverlet is an excellent touch.
Hahahaha. Love the sentiment expressed by the care worn alien smoking a butt and scratching itself absently is testament to the translation. It’s a very human scene found outside of corporate buildings word wide.
Love this image. It’s definitely not the type of thing Alf would go in for. Again, it’s a simple, that effectively matches message with art. For some reason, the forlorn look on the cat’s face cracks me up.
Funny Animal Tattoo Ideas
All this funny tattoo is missing are some party favors to get the ball rolling. The incongruence between hat and great white shark is a good piece of tactical trickery. The ink itself is well drawn, crisply lined with deft use of shade and shadow.
File these burlesque birds under: ‘things you can’t unsee.’ They’re a classic pair of tattoos, well etched with hybrid shading and a good sense of fun. It’s also a good effort to fit a pair of human legs onto the body of chicken – or is it a pigeon? Doesn’t matter really! Also, like the added touch of beret in the first image, and you can’t touch this upraised wing in the second.
Okay, so let’s get weirder. I bet Troy McClure would have one or two tattoos like this one extolling his ‘love’ for sexy fish. In funny tattoos, the small details set up the hilarity of the overall image – this effort has knee high bobby socks and anchor tattoo combining for a good giggle. The added splash of aqua/blue color is a realistic application for the piece that seems added purely to make the ink look stranger.
Banana Flipper? Okay. This is brilliant and zany. It’s a minimalist funny tattoo that only needs to get by on concept, which is unique and innovative. If you peel a banana and a dolphin pops out I’d recommend seeing a licensed professional.
The daddy long legs is an excellent etching of fine black line – the long pegs which give the beastie it’s name are cleverly done in an almost dot to dot fashion, and detailing the body/head isn’t the aim of the art. I’m not a big fan of the cursive script, it’s a good calligraphy style but lacks flow. Throwing in the quotes is somewhat redundant and throws the piece off balance.
This funny tattoo is a great little piece of subversion, with a small realistic duck seemingly content to be hooked up to a brain stimulator. I can dig it. The absurdly life-like television is the key to the piece, with it’s feet like weird hands and the old school vibe of it’s shape and detail. This is an exceptional tattoo.
A fine minimalist cartoon alligator tattoo. It’s simple, neat, but well done. There’s not much to it but sharpie thick lines and eye/teeth effects but it’s executive with cleverness, the key over the long term would be making sure it stays isolated from other art to retain individuality.
Love the concept of small bunny and a bad day, and the dude’s socks are cool too. From a technical perspective the work could be drastically improved – the T in not looks sketchy and out of sync – and the white ink fills are a complete waste. White ink would’ve been better put to use as a line work accent or combined with a shading flourish to give this funny tattoo more depth.
In Australia, Ibis are known as bin chickens, alternately loved and spurned in equal measure for their voracious appetite for picking food out of bins, and terrorizing tourists in popular coastal communities. It’s likely a long legged, winged cohort to the North American raccoon. This fellow is casually going about his day, smoking a cigarette and thinking of ways to put food on the family’s table while doing so with the maximum vexation caused to humans. Some would argue it’s a noble pursuit.
This is a brilliant funny tattoo of a great white shark in floaties. The level of absurdity is matched only by the ferocious look of the apex predator trying to get about in the big wide ocean. Technically, it’s a very finely etched piece of work. The shading is fantastic low key realism allowing the brightly colored floaties their chance to stand out against the contrasting shark. The big, hungry mammal itself is a clean piece of black ink outline.
Hahaha. This is a classic. I can imagine this ornery toad sitting out on his stoop, watching the neighborhood goings on and then spilling the tea to the other old amphibians later on at the bar. The line work is key to this piece’s success – it’s fat outline provides a nice shape for the simple, effective shading to work against in opposition.
This underwhelmed pink unicorn is a killer funny tattoo. It doesn’t need to say anything more than it does – like a cranky animal from Adventure Time or the discarded portion of a Matt Groening think tank. Love the horn made to look like a tasty wafer cone, while the clean pink color fill is an excellent shade against the subject’s skin. It cleverly works in concert with the flowing white ink mane. Given the other art close by – a black line snowflake, and tasty tasty sundae – this dude’s not afraid to get wacky in his choice of tattoo art.
This pug riding his surfboard is amazing. I would binge watch a television show dedicated to big wave puppy surfers. He’s extremely well detailed, and well balanced on the short board, which is gnarly in itself. On first gaze, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Despite being a reasonable circle with excellently depicted white caps and shading I got the feeling it was too stretched out. But, the more you look at it the more it doesn’t matter because there is a pug hero on a surfboard attacking the curl like vintage Kelly Slater.
Mom stopped crying about my tattoos around 15 years ago, when I was a dozen or so in and already heavily illustrated. However, If i’d gotten a well etched monkey with his nuts out mooning everyone who looked inked on to me anywhere, she would have gotten a barrel full of sulfuric acid, a massive wire brush, and burnt it clean off my skin. This is certainly a funny tattoo, but it will take great strength of will for the subject to continue to think so as time passes.
Flash as a rat gets a new connotation with this awesome gray rodent. Love the gray ink used in this cartoon tattoo, well supported by flashes of white ink highlight and a big front tooth. His casually brushed back hair looks classic, like a shifty car salesman with a lifetime supply of free Brylcreem.
Pretty interesting camel toe interpretation. The placement is excellent as is the group’s commitment to having fun with a negative, if often occurring, discomfiting phenomenon. The black solid fill is done well considering the awkward placement, and the artist has put together an attractive camel outline.
Can’t knock the hustle, but can knock the art. It’s not a particularly strong tattoo despite the derring-do of placement and concept. The lines look patchy, and the brown alternate line is also quite poor. The flies are the best part of the ink however they need a better fill in the body, and more depth to the wing shade.
Hahahahaha. This one is a cracking take on the popular ‘snek’ meme, with the deliberate crudity of the script working because of the professional delivery. The snek looks like a small child drew it on the back of the subject’s arm, but that’s exactly the point!
This giraffe is keen for a titillating lick of the subject’s nipple. The artist has smartly used scale in crafting this funny tattoo. The giraffe is long, lithe, and proportionate instead of stumpy. There’s not a lot of detail, but the black fill of patches has been etched effectively.
For men & women
A great take on the goldfish riding a bicycle gag, although this fella seems to have seen too much in his time, as the wide eyes and cigarette dangling from his mouth can attest. The bicycle is clean and simple, while the combination of line tattoo and dotwork alt fill are a good use of technical application. I can picture creaking wheels and scratchy brakes squealing as the fish lurches past you at the bust stop on his way to the liquor store at 8.00 am.
This frog is not here to mess around. It’s reminiscent of when you turn up to the party a couple of hours late, and one of your friends is already a magnum of sparkling wine in, shouting at you to play Shania from the second story roof (allegedly). The match strip style of line work is a unique effect, as is the sparse fill scratches – they could probably be more effective if done as dotwork or hybrid hash lines.
This sloth is great, but if future you needs this message to get lucky, then you’ve done something wrong along the way. The white highlighted claws are impressively etched – like little wolverine claws – and the faint white smudges of fur work sweetly. He’s such a friendly looking dude.
Funny Black and Gray Tattoos
This is a brilliantly delivered piece of tattooing, mixing exceptional black line and with cool, fundamentally sound geometric application. The line work of the real ladder is so impressively fresh, without this technical excellence the rest of the tattoo would not work as it allows the angles to be on point.
Another cool, funny tattoo mixing a smart concept with simple, practical delivery. Like the use of red ink to contrast with the minimalist hands – although any bright color opposite the black line would be useful.
Haha. Periods are the worst and this tattoo sums up a woman’s monthly cycle perfectly. It’s a straightforward but extremely clever piece of body art that doesn’t waste time getting it’s message across.
Well, this is quite the metaphor. I love a good example of smart, meeting funny and then being put together with quality needle work. Like the artist’s differentiation of each pair of scissors – the heavy duty fabric scissors on the left against the more utilitarian ones on the right. The shading is precise and perfectly brings the innovation forward, while the lines are etched crisply against negative space to give the left hand scissors more shine.
This is tremendous. It’s a neat, small tattoo balancing a fun, albeit slightly morbid message that at times we’ve all felt. The black line ink is well delivered – there are no wasted strokes – the tennis racquet in particular is boldly done and looks freshly busted.
These twin are so weird they’re amazing. I’ve never seen a hand crafted tattoo describe brain function in such a cerebral way. It’s like a mud map thrown together during a team building exercise, and reflects the point of the tattoo perfectly. The imprecise nature of the circle, brain, and connective lines writ large on the skin are a great teaching moment – not all tattoos have to be precise to be brilliant (although 90% of the time it is important) The contrast between the crayon style brain diagram, with classical black and gray knee roses, adding another layer to the irony.
Hahahaha. This is bad ass. A plastic chair tattoo that’s come straight out of the budget department store catalogue and retails for $10.00. The only way to top the negative space, black line version is to color it in that horrible dark green mirroring the color of your garbage bin. It’s a killer piece of body art, and I want one of my own.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to release that dove and move along. Fly free little doves, fly free. This funny tattoo has a real old school, American Traditional vibe, but with gradient shading instead of single fill colors in the usual green, red, and yellow.
This is a fun variation on the famous fresco featured on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The message is clear, but what is also clear is the expertise of the tattooist. The shading, although light, is subtly tremendous, adding flexion and shape to each hand and complementing the fresh black outlines. The only issue with this tattoo is the placement – the upper back is Malibu real estate for ink lovers, and this bad boy could look amazing scaled down and placed elsewhere.
For men & women
This is one of the saddest tattoos you will ever see. Well done!
Funny Cat Tattoos
This funny tattoo is an absurdist Hello Kitty fever dream. The layers to the different pink shades are dazzling, going from the bright sugar bomb of the sushi cat right through to the pale, fluffy rose pink stuffed with little white stretches of dotwork. Pink is a stretchy color, and this piece demonstrates that with innovative style. Also like the seaweed roll in the middle mixing up clever dotwork for a magic eye effect.
Okay, put down the tattoo gun. You’ve had enough for today.
This is an ingenious small tattoo placed perfectly into an awkward position. The key to this flailing cat will come later – tattoos in this area are notorious for ink dropping out – it may be necessary to get it touched up later on. The image itself is entertaining, the feline’s eyes bugging out is enjoyable.
What’s going on with all these cats doing art? There’s no animal less suited to getting paint on them, or being criticised by people on the internet than cats. This fellow, however, seems to be enjoying himself. The artist has captured the weirdness of this piece really well by throwing in the classic dick and balls engraved in red to complement image of the stereotypical old school painter. The funky short lines do well to capture the idea of fur, while the fat black edge fill is a nice contrasting technique.
Another Sistine Chapel shout out, but with a kitty involved instead of an upraised middle finger. The concept is fun and interesting, although the tattoo’s positioning creates a sense that the circle is pinched and not perfectly circular. Given where it is placed on the inner forearm, maybe a different shape with lines and clean angles – such as a triangle or hexagon – may work better framing the stellar internal image.
This Nyan cat take is strange and enjoyable, but extremely well colored with sky blue contrasting against the flat gray ink. I like how much fun the artist and subject have had putting the purrmaid together, and can get behind it.
I’d argue this hairless green cat is more scary and dangerous than a funny tattoo. Either way, it’s an astounding piece of technical ink. Forget the evil green feline for a second and check out the tremendously inlaid collar. The golden shading is nuanced – there’s a slightly different tone at each stage – with excellent shine, further boosted by the fine details of the central sun outline and collar studs. Then, you’ve got the amazing hairless monstrosity of sickly green shaded out with black highlights and fine lines creating fantastically subtle wrinkles. I can’t look at it, yet I can’t look away from it either. You do not want to lie to this pet.
This is an awesome variation on the I’m fine/this is fine meme that is now an extremely important part of everyday digital culture. It’s taken the Monty Python knight from the golden eighties and run with it to today’s sensibility. Technically, it’s cleanly inscribed with simple black line, well supported by a script type designed to just be there, instead of dominate the nonplussed cartoon cat and surprisingly elegant broadsword.
Once upon a time I too liked a party, but never ever with a switchblade. This cat image is popular, and freaky. The only issue with this minimalist bit of fun is the superfluous period at the end.
For men & women
You can imagine the subject’s aged grandparent look at this tattoo for the first time and start saying, “Ooh isn’t it a pretty… what the hell is going on here? Are those testicles? Did you get a cat with testicles tattooed on your skin?” This is the kind of reaction throwing in a set of testicles to a funny tattoo has to prompt. At no stage does someone get a tattoo prominently featuring a set of nuts and think that it won’t draw comments, either in hilarity or horror.
Funny Color Tattoos
This is a great mix of watercolor tattoo and black line, like Little Miss Messy on skin. The blue/purple mess of color looks really cool, with the small addition of black lines adding ballast. The legs are simple, but the red and white striped socks make them good fun.
Never seen a vibrator foot tattoo before, but am certain I will again. Love the use of American Tradition style script in addition to the ubiquitous buzzing boyfriend well etched with black line and cheery red/pink color. This is epic!
For men & women
Funny Death-Related Tattoos
For men & women
Funny Delicate Tattoos
For men & women
Funny Food Tattoos
For men & women